• New technology tracks smog down to your street

    By: Katie Walls


    ATLANTA - With summer comes smog.

    Metro Atlanta has already experienced two days this year in which air quality reached unhealthy levels. But new pollution-mapping technology is helping regional planners better design up-and-coming parts of metro Atlanta.

    David D’Onofrio, a principal planner with Atlanta Regional Commission’s Transportation Access Division, told Channel 2’s Katie Walls about the benefits of their street-mapping technology.

    “We don’t want children out playing in playgrounds near major roadways where there’s more road pollution,” he said. “We use it a lot for transportation-planning purposes to make sure we’re not adding too many more cars in roads that are already hotspots to make those areas worse.”


    The planner told Walls that most of the pollution only travels a few hundred feet from the roadways.

    The mapping system includes street-level mapping for 20 metro counties. You can see the concentration of pollution on your street by clicking here. Busy streets, like the Interstate 75-Interstate 85 corridor, are in red and orange, signifying the highest concentration of air pollution. Better air quality is in green away from busy city streets.

    Most bad air quality comes from things we burn, including fuel in cars. Long term exposure can be deadly. 

    “When they get in your lungs they cause damage to your lung tissue, scarring. They can cause respiratory issues. They can cause cardiovascular disease and lead to premature death,” D’Onofrio said.

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